Spanish police arrest seven for ‘hate crime’ against Real Madrid striker Vinicius Jr


Spanish police have arrested three people in connection with racist slurs directed at Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward Vinícius Júnior on Sunday and detained a further four in connection with a mannequin of the footballer found hanging under a bridge in January.

Police said three people had been arrested in Valencia in connection with the abuse during Sunday’s match at the eastern city’s Mestalla stadium. An investigation was opened into the chants on Monday, on the same day the head of Spain’s football federation admitted the country had a problem with racism.

In a separate operation, four people were detained in relation to the discovery in January of an effigy wearing Vinícius’s No 20 shirt that had been hung from a bridge in front of the training ground of Real Madrid, the player’s club team, along with a banner that read “Madrid hates Real”.

Both incidents are being investigated as possible hate crimes.


Officials, players, and former players in Brazil and Spain showed solidarity with 22-year-old Vinícius, who on Sunday considered leaving the field after facing racist taunts from fans during Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss at Valencia in the Spanish league.
“We have a problem of behaviour, of education, of racism,” Luis Rubiales of the Royal Spanish Football Federation said on Monday. “And as long as there is one fan or one group of fans making insults based on someone’s sexual orientation or skin colour or belief, then we have a serious.


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